French artist Jean André has been garnering worldwide attention for his nude or semi-nude tattooed figures that have made a niche for themselves among the fine art world. Creating beautiful, incredibly feminine illustrations of heavily tattooed female figures, as well as his own hand poked tattoos, his work poses the question, “Where does the line between fine art and tattoos begin to blur?” André says it’s all relative. “Tattoos are more iconic, more catchy like a punchline. Fine art is about feelings and stories.”
André’s work delves heavily into topics like bondage, sexual liberation, and kink exploration, but for him, it’s always been more about the woman he depicts than the sensuality behind his work. “I never use male figures in my drawings, it's all about feminine forms, and nudity is just a subject to me, there is nothing personal. It's not a perversion it's just a theme I chose to explore,” he explains. “I'm a huge fan of curves and faces and passion, it's the best and only way I found to express myself.”
Using a range of neutral shades, the brightest color a muted pink or dusty rose, André’s work is soft, both subjectively and technically speaking. Whether real or fictional, the tattoos André creates are generally centered around love, sex, or hedonistic tendencies. Phrases like, “Love Forever,” “Suck Fuck,” and “Too Fucked To Drink,” dot his work, evoking a youthful feel while his perfectly comprised illustrations take on more of a mature tone. He cites a combination of both Instagram models and great painters as his inspiration — artists like Marie Laurencin and Matisse. The final result is an incredibly thoughtful approach that touches on the interconnectedness of sexuality and early adulthood.
The worlds of fine art and tattoo art aren’t too far removed, but artists like André are getting closer and closer to not only bridging the gap, but defining it for the rest of the world.
André is incredibly prolific and he always seems to have at least a couple of interesting projects going at once, so make sure to follow him on Instagram to keep up to date.